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 | By Danielle McGrew Tenbusch

Asking for the Spirit’s gifts

My son’s last Catechesis of the Good Shepherd faith formation class this year included a special celebration of Pentecost. After reading the Scripture account of the first Pentecost in Acts 2:1-41, the catechist lit seven red candles, each labeled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and explained them. The children were invited to place a candle by the one representing the gift they wanted to ask the Holy Spirit for. It was a beautiful, simple way to consider how to prayerfully ask for these gifts.

While I recall memorizing the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, I must admit I had never considered specifically asking the Spirit for any of them in particular. Watching the students carefully place their tea lights next to the red candles, I wondered which gift the Holy Spirit was waiting for me to pray for. “Ask and you will receive,” Jesus tells us in Luke 11:9.

We can pray for the Holy Spirit at any time, not just at our Confirmation. Like the children in my son’s class, we can prayerfully ask for a specific gift, or for the Holy Spirit to renew us— and Jesus himself promises these prayers will be answered! “For everyone who asks, receives … If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:10,13)

As the Diocese of Saginaw moves into a new era for Confirmation, in which the sacrament will ordinarily be received as youth enter their teenage years, there is great opportunity for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I invite you to read our cover story on page 16, which details the new Confirmation preparation and shares one pilot group’s experience, Bishop Gruss’ column about Confirmation on the next page and Faith Matters on page 10, which busts some common myths about the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for reading Great Lakes Bay Catholic. Come, Holy Spirit!

To Jesus through Mary,